While interviewing a colleague for my essay, she reminded me of Tribal Journeys and how important it was for young people to have authentic experiences. It is not enough to be digitally engaged or go on virtual canoe trips. The Tribal Journeys site is full of stories of expeditions, past and present and how to sign up for expeditions in the future. The focus is on having indigenous young people travel through the Salish Sea in much the same manner as their ancestors did. Huge canoes have been fashioned and as they move along the coast over about 25 days, they are welcomed at villages. The site also has a great deal of information of a more general nature, regarding First Nations communities along the Coast of British Columbia and Washington. Much like the video we watched about the Fraser River journey, Tribal Jounreys gives young people a chance to bond with each other, with Elders and with the land, and in this case, the sea. It has become apparent to me while writing my essay that the land in many ways dictates the nature of the First Nations communities. Coastal communities are connected to the sea and the land as well as rivers. Plains cultures would have different issues. Knowing the environment is critical to knowing the culture and there won’t ever be a “one-size fits-all” answer to addressing the issues facing First Nations communities.
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